Friday, March 20, 2009

iPhone discrimination

I want an iPhone, who doesn’t these days? And iPhones seem to be especially popular among foreigners here in Japan, as the Japanese prefer their own (more complicated) cellular devices. But guess who are banned from buying the iPhones? That’s right: foreigners. We are allowed to buy all the other (complicated, especially when you don’t understand Japanese) phones, but all I can do with them is call and text because the other options are pretty useless when you don’t understand Japanese. The only phone with advanced functions that I could understand is the one I’m not allowed to buy.
Apparently, a bunch of Chinese came to Japan to get their hands on iPhones and leave the country never paying Softbank the owed contract and handset fees, essentially stealing the phones from Softbank, according to the Softbank clerk. So those Chinese basically ruined it for all foreigners. But some foreigners are allowed to get an iPhone, those that have a Japanese credit card or driver’s license. Well, I could never afford driving a car in Japan, so I’m not willing to exchange my Dutch license for a Japanese one. And the bank wouldn’t let me have credit card, because... I’m a foreigner! It feels kind of like being dirty or something.


Aaron said...

Not sure if it would be too much trouble with billing and stuff but could Yasu either act as a guarantor or sign you up on a Family plan or add a line to his account? That is what a couple of my friends did for a 3rd friend when they all lived in Tokyo at the same time (just added him to their account and he'd pay them for his use). Otherwise the 3rd friend ran into your problem of them worried that the dirty foreigner would flee the country.

Yasu said...

Yes that is nothing but discrimination if what the clerk said is true. Which developed country would do that?

Louana said...

Aaron, that's exactly what we did! Haven't had time to blog about it yet, that's all. I'm happy to say I'm iPhone equipped these days. But thanks for the suggestion!